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How to Stay Motivated as a Beginner to Exercise

By this point in the year, if you were thinking of setting yourself a fitness related goal or New Years Resolution for 2020, you have probably started on the path working towards your goal already. Hopefully, you've set yourself a realistic but challenging goal, worked out how you're going to get there and are determined to reach the finish line. However, for many beginners to the gym, a seemingly simple goal can seem like an impossible mountain to climb. You won't reach your goal overnight (and if you do, you should set a tougher goal!), so daily progress and constant building is the only way to get there.


A habit is said to have been formed after constant repetition for 30-40 days, but of course this figure can vary from person to person. Saying this, a month is a good target to aim for, and hopefully by this point you will have integrated your new habit into your lifestyle. If you have a Personal Trainer, I'm sure you're tired of hearing the word sustainable, but it really is the most important aspect of a new goal or habit. If going to the gym for an hour 5 days a week doesn't really fit into your life, then it's not sustainable and simply won't last as a habit. My tip to overcome this issue is to think realistically: if you can't commit to meeting your PT at the gym, why not try Online Personal Training instead? Or if an exercise program demands 90 minutes of working out every day that you simply don't have time for, maybe it's not the program for you and a more suitable method of programming should be found. Either way, you have to really be ready and committed to make the changes required in your life to ensure success.


If you are on the right path, doing all the right things in a sustainable way and are happy with your PT (or lack of one), then my number one piece of advice for a beginner is simply to not give up. Easier said than done, but it really is true that with every session it will become easier and more enjoyable, and before you know it, you're hooked!


Self motivation, or motivation from intrinsic factors is the most important as this is what will drive you to get up and go, which no one else can do, but how do you find self motivation? The reality is that you just have to want it enough and be passionate enough about reaching that end goal. Nothing is more guaranteeing for success than the desire and faultless motivation that comes from you alone. Personal Trainers, coaches, friends and family can all do their best but no one but you can ultimately achieve your goal.


However in my view, unless you have someone to keep you accountable (PT, online coach etc), it takes a huge amount of dedication to stick with it. This is why we are passionate about helping people through our Online Personal Training program - it really does work! On the opposite end of the scale to self motivation, a Personal Trainer is a prime example of an extrinsic factor in motivation. This means that motivation comes from an outside source in the form of your PT regularly checking in and encouraging you to complete your program. An even easier way to find motivation from an extrinsic source is to simply tell a friend, colleague, gym buddy or family member what your goals are. They will almost certainly informally check in with you every so often to find out how you're getting on, which can be just the drive you need to stick with it. You'd much rather be able to give positive progress updates than have to tell everyone that you've given up!


Once you have created a habit, you have likely cleared the first hurdle and managed to keep that initial motivation, but what happens now? Motivation doesn't last forever for anyone, even professional athletes and fitness professional aren't motivated to go to the gym every day, despite what you may think!

Motivation from here on will come from progress. Once you start to see small changes, that will give you the drive to continue, as you can now see that your goal isn't impossible. Granted, this can take a long time, which is why that initial motivation for the first few months when you see no progress is often the toughest. Tracking your progress in some form or another is essential for this exact reason. You could measure strength, weight, body measurements, run times, moods, progress photos; the list is endless, but as long as you have a method of seeing that progress is being made, this should be enough to keep you on track. On our Online PT app, measurements of all of these parameters are possible, which is why we think it is such a great investment to help you reach your fitness goals.


For more information on Online Training, or simply for help and advice in reaching your goals, get in touch with Sterling Fitness.

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